King of Shaves Video Guides to Shaving
Shaving is so easy! It should not feel like a chore nor should it leave your skin feeling raw. A little time and effort invested in your face should lead to an enjoyable experience and great results every time. So treat your face right and watch our video guides below for a smoother, closer, more comfortable shave with less irritation…
HOW TO SHAVE PROPERLY
There’s really four key elements that are required for any good shave…
No.1: you need to make some time for a good shave. If you can’t make time for a good shave that day, don’t have a shave that day!
No.2: you need plenty of a warm / hot water.
No.3: you need a decent shave prep.
No.4: a decent, sharp razor.
Oh yeah, and no.5: you need some bristles.
Take the time to give your stubble a good wash and soak. This’ll really soften the bristles, so when you come to apply the razor to your face it’ll feel more like a hot knife through butter. Whatever shave prep you choose to apply, take some time – and I mean 35-40 seconds – to massage it properly into your beard. The act of massaging will really help lift the pile of your beard off the skin, which will just mean that you’re more likely to catch more bristles with each pass of the razor. You’re just going to get a closer and more comfortable shave.
Now the easy bit – it’s time to use the actual razor itself… For most of us, shaving with the grain is the way to go forward. The grain for most guys tends to grow down on the cheeks, on the lip and on the chin, and grows up from the base of the neck. You can imagine it’s very similar to stroking your dog or your cat – stroke it in one direction, there’s barely any resistance; going against the grain, you’re going to have trouble. Unless you have the skin of a rhino.
With each pass rinse the blade regularly. Stubble and shave prep builds up in the face of the razor and that tends to lift the blades off the skin, which means you won’t get the closeness from each stroke. After you’ve done your fist pass check your face with your fingers for any missed spots. Your fingers will feel things that you can’t see. Then you can have a quick clean up of those.
If closeness is still a problem for you, shave across the grain. Unlike shaving against the grain it’s not going to tug the hair follicle, not going to cause irritation to the root and give you a nasty razor rash. Pushing the razor hard is not going to get you closeness, but is going to get you discomfort. You’re going to push the blades into the surface of the skin and get soreness. This is particularly important on the nape of the neck and also just on the sides of your ‘tache.
And don’t be tempted to stroke repeatedly again and again, because you are going to clip a top of the skin. It’s just going to feel uncomfortable and look unsightly.
Check you’ve got your sideburns in the right position. Choose the height on one side, put your finger on it and then you can line up against your finger with the blade. Otherwise you’ll end up chasing your sideburns up the side of your head trying to get them to balance.
Is that what happened to you?
Yes! All the way to the top.
Rinse any residual shave prep from your skin with slightly cooler water. Cooler water will help to close those pores up naturally on your skin, pull the stubble back into your skin a little bit as well, so you get that really nice post-shave, smooth skin feel. It will take your skin a couple of hours to recover from the stripping effect of taking a razor blade across it, and in that couple of hours it’s vulnerable. So just the application of a balm or moisturiser is going to make sure it’s protected while it regains its natural protection.
If you want to smell nice take your expensive eau de cologne and put it around the nape of your neck – away from the shaved area. On this part of the skin it’s just going to sting. Just because it looks old school from 1950s movies, you don’t need to do it. Why suffer to smell nice?
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR RAZOR
So we at King of Shaves, we do make razors, but we wanted to try and give you some honest, open advice about the razors that you might choose look at or use yourself.
Unless you’ve been hiding away in a cave for the last 20 years, you probably realise that razor blades have moved on from the days of double-edge. So we’ve got a choice out in the market now – you can use a single-bladed razor or a razor with multiple blades. Theory says that a multi-blade razor will shave you closer with more comfort.
Thinking about your shave plan and what you want to shave like is important in understanding how many blades you want to use. Here’s my bristle, here’s my blades coming through…
The first blade hits the bristle, pulls it out of the skin slightly, snaps through the other end. Due to the nice, elastic nature of your skin (called hysteresis for those that are interested), the bristle starts to retreat into the skin, but oop – the second blade’s hit it, pulls it up out again, cuts through it, it starts to fall back into the skin. The third blade comes along… and if you believe all of the marketing, the fourth and fifth blades do something similar.
Your bristle will be sub-skin, so in theory you’ve got a closer shave, because it will take some time for that bristle to grow up through the skin to get to the same place as a single edge razor would’ve shaved you. If you’re somebody that suffers from razor bumps – for a lot of Afro-Caribbean guys this could be a really big problem, or anybody with a slightly curly stubble – you’re probably going to want to avoid multi-blade razors, because bringing the bristle down like this is going to encourage ingrown hairs even more. Just bringing the bristle down to surface level means that it’s much easier for that bristle to grow up through the skin.
So I’ve got two products here that are kind of two ends of the spectrum: a single blade; and then we’ve got one of the state of the art products from our friends at Big G. It’s probably got forty or fifty components in it. Three components and a blade [single blade razor]. This product [single blade razor] will probably require you to invest in the handle £20 or £30, but each blade will cost you pennies. They virtually give you the handle for free [multi-blade system razor], but each time you replace this cartridge they are going to take you for £2.50 maybe £3.00 depending on where you buy it from.
Used properly – you’ll get a great shave [multi-blade system razor]. Used properly – you’ll get a great shave [single blade razor].
The real, main difference between these two products is that the skill level to use this product [multi-blade system razor] is so much lower than the skill level to use this product [single blade razor]. For the guys who love this type of product [single blade razor] they find it hugely rewarding.
Both these products share one thing in common: for a great shave you need a great shave prep. Whatever shave prep you choose to apply, take some time to massage it properly into all of your beard. This’ll really soften the bristles, and mean that when you come to apply the razor to your face it’ll feel more like a hot knife through butter.
Obviously there’s Wilkinson Sword Energizer who make a five-blade and three-bladed razor. Bic – who make sort of disposable and hybrid-disposable razors. And you’ve also got a lot of supermarket own-brand label or Boots or Superdrug own-brand label. These products can be really good as well – so don’t discount them just because they haven’t got a brand on them. With good preparation and a good shave prep, they can still give you an excellent shave and you might find they’re excellent value for money. Once you’ve finished with your razor blade, just rinse it in some clean water, shake it dry – don’t ever be tempted to try and wipe the blades, you will damage them so, so easily. Store them with the blades in a safe manor, ideally not resting on a hard surface and you’ll get extra value out of your blades.
HOW TO SHAVE WITH FACIAL HAIR
Although we’re called the King of Shaves we’re not actually an anti-beard company – we’re just anti bad shaving.
The number of styles you can have on your beard is limitless, but nearly every form of styling that you’re going to do on your beard – unless you go for a fully natural look and let it grow wherever it wants to grow – is going to need some lining in. But before you get to the lining in you’ve got to understand how much hair you’re going to need to remove. If you’re lining-in on a daily basis, because you want to look sharp every single day, then you need to obviously just use standard wet shave rules.
If you’re lining in less frequently, you’re probably going to need to use a clipper to try and take any of the weight of the beard down, so that what you’re leaving the razor to shave with is something that’s one or two millimetres long, at best. The beauty of using clippers to line-in the edge of the beard before using the wet shaver is that it gives you a nice, defined line to run your razor along.
Choosing where to line-in your beard is as much down to your own personal taste as any rules will tell you. Where you stick your cheek line or where you stick your neckline depends a little bit on the shape of your face. The secret really is to just take away 5mm of beard, take a look, if you want to take a bit more, another 5mm, if that looks like it’s just about right then you’re there – great.
Just make sure that you keep nice lines from your sideburn through to your ‘tache. As you bring your cheek down you want to keep a nice line so that it follows parallel to your jawline. To bring your neckline up evenly on both sides, a nice tip is to trim your beard on one side, place your finger and then you can place the head of your trimmer the other side, so you can just match symmetrically as you go up and down your face.
Try not to take the chin line above the edge of your chin – you’ re going to have a rather strange look. It might be a strange look you like – I don’t know. Make sure that you do with your beard what works for your face, because your face might be not the same as anybody else’s – we’re all a bit unique. Don’t be too led by fashion.
Then you’re ready just to finish your lining-in with a wet razor. We would recommend for this particular task a nice, low-foam product. This allows you to see what you are doing. Can of Mr. Whippy may be great for many things, but it’ s not a great product for lining-in your beard. You want to see what you are doing, so you can follow that crisp, nice line. Always important to consider the skin under your beard as well as the beard itself and keep it in good condition. Consider a post shave product, a moisturiser or a balm on the shaved area.
A beard will wick away the natural moisture that your body generates away from your skin, so actually although you’ve got a beard, underneath your skin might be a bit drier than it would normally be if you shaved every day. If you choose to use an oil to line-in your beard any residual shaving oil that you’ve got you can just massage into your beard, it gives you a little bit of shine and a little bit of conditioning and a little bit of styling too.
HOW TO SHAVE YOUR BEARD OFF
So you’re thinking about shaving your beard off. Hurray!
But seriously, we’re not anti beard, we’re anti bad shaving. If you’re thinking about shaving your beard off, well we want you to do it right – we want you to enjoy that experience. You can shave it off, feel the wind on your chin, and if it is not for you, no problem, it will grow back.
Whether you’ve got a big grizzly Adams beard or something slightly thinner, you’re really going to need to take the weight out of your beard with a good set of clippers. No matter what you’ve got clip a dry beard. The clippers with work much, much better. A wet beard’s going to tug and pull – it’s not going to be a joyous experience.
Make sure that you got it fully charged. Clippers that are less than 40% charged, they start to slow down a bit and that can really start to tug and pull, as you’re trying to push the blade through your beard. If you have got a big grizzly Adams beard, you need to look at stepping down through the plastic grades that come with your clippers. If you’ve got a slightly thinner beard, you can look to go straight in, just with the lowest grade you can with no plastic grade on at all.
So you used your clippers, you’ve taken your beard right back down to some fairly short stubble and of course the basic sensible same rules of shaving still apply. Make sure you have time in your schedule to complete your shave properly.
You need to make sure you’ve got warm/hot water. You need to make sure that you’ve got a quality shave prep. And you need to make sure you’ve got a decent sharp razor. There is no point in using that old blade.
Treat your face right. Treat yourself to a nice, new sharp razor blade. Because obviously you’ve not shaved for a while, consider using a face scrub or a face wash just to really get in there, to raise the pile of your beard. Rinse that away and now it is time to apply your shave prep. We think that low or no foam products are the best products to use, because it is important that you see where you’re shaving. A can of Mr. Whippy’s fine, but at the end of the day the lofty foam, most of it you’re going to shave down the sink. Maybe it’s not doing all that it should for you.
You’ve not shaved for a while, but you’ve probably not forgotten how, but remember go with the grain. Start on your cheeks. These are the easiest areas to shave, so you can get your eye and skill back in-line. Then look to shave up on the nape of your neck and then finish of with your chin and your ‘tache. Always going with the grain. Have a feel with your fingers. Your fingers are the best guide to tell you whether you missed any hairs or not. If you have you can just shave across the grain, just moving in a sideways motion.
Rinse any residual shave prep from your skin with slightly cooler water. This’ll help close your pores up. Obviously you haven’t shaved for a while, you’ve not shown all your face to the sun and we think it’s important particularly for you guys, if you’ve had a full beard for quite a while, that you consider using an SPF in your moisturiser. This is going to give you long-term protection for your face and keep you looking sharp and looking your best for longest.
HOW TO SHAVE YOUR BODY HAIR
Don’t be tempted to try and attach razors and clippers to lengths of broom handle with gaffer tape. It will end in disaster. What I’d say about body shaving is you just need to be realistic. Only shave the things, the areas, that you can see and reach.
If you’re going to be regularly shaving bits of body hair you really need to invest in a set of decent clippers. Lots of good brands out there. Personally, I think Phillips and Wahl make the best clippers on the market. Use your clippers on dry hair. Use the plastic guard; take the razor down as much as you can.
Remove the plastic guard and then carefully use the clipper on your skin. You want to try and clipper that hair down as short as you can, which means that when you come to use your wet manual razor you’re asking it to do no more work than you should expect from it. When you’re applying your shave prep, you haven’t got the density of hair that you’ve got on your face, but you still need to take the time to massage it in to your stubble. You want that stubble nice and wetted out.
I would always recommend a low-foam product.
It’s a very different shape to what you’re used to – you’ve got more lumps and bumps in different sorts of places and you really need to see where you’re going. The direction of hair growth varies a lot from person to person and can be quite mixed on your body. Move across the grain and see what result you’ve got.
Don’t be tempted to shave in multiple directions for the sake of it – you might not need to and your skin just won’t thank you. Take your time, take it steady. Shave, rinse, see how it looks, feel how it looks and then you can neaten up the areas. Particularly important around your nipples. You can put your finger here – shave around; you can swap over and shave on this side as well. The worst thing you’re going to do is cut your finger. Be really careful around your nipple area, because if you cut with a razor blade it will bleed and bleed and bleed and bleed.
So once you’ve shaved all the areas you wanted to shave, it might be worth just bringing the temperature of the shower down very slightly and just having a final rinse off.
Don’t go too liberal with that towel. You’ve just dragged a sharp blade across the surface of skin that’s not use to that, so you really need to pat these areas dry with the towel. It’s going to be un-used to being so naked, so really consider using some post-shave product just to protect that skin area, so that your skin can make its natural recovery.
Shaving below the belt… Not something I’ve tried myself. I would take it in steps. I would certainly consider using a clipper first to take away as much of your pubic hair as you can. I would certainly recommend that you use a plastic guard on your clippers, that you don’t rely on the shortest grade.You don’t want to be cutting with the end of the clipper.
Whatever you do… good luck!
For more information on treating your face right read our 5 quick tips to getting a great smooth shave. Or if you want to know lots more then please read our More detailed shaving ‘know-how’ advice as well as FAQs and tips on the entire King of Shaves range, please visit the Know-How and FAQs page.